While participation and attendance numbers might be declining in some communities, high school athletics are still very meaningful to scores in our area.
Boys basketball and football continue to be the biggest moneymakers in prep athletics, but there are 17 other varsity sports at the area’s bigger schools. So, overall attendance for athletics is probably as great as it has ever been.
High school athletics nowadays is truly a family affair, especially for those with multiple student-athletes involved. Mom often has to attend one event and Dad another.
The young men and women involved in athletics can help generate much spirit within their communities and also in the hallways of their schools.
Daniel Heim is a Goshen High School senior who plays football and is a member of the winter cheerleading squad. He may be seen at many GHS events, supporting his friends and fellow students.
“I would like to see even more students at our events,” said Heim. “But, it seems like everyone is so busy these days with homework and working jobs. There are a lot of other activities going on to compete with athletics.
Participating in football and cheerleading has helped, Heim said, with his discipline and time management.
“I try to get to as many events as I can because I enjoy feeling the school spirit it creates,” he said. “I just love being around people and the excitement athletics creates.”
Heim will be attending Manchester College next year.
Keeping up with the Henkes
Bob and Denise Henke of Goshen are among those parents keeping a busy schedule with a pair of three-sport athletes in the family.
Senior son Austin participates in football, basketball and baseball while sophomore daughter Adrienne is in cross country, basketball and track.
“Competition has been so much a part of our lives,” said Bob Henke, who himself was a fleet-footed outfielder in the Goshen fast-pitch softball program at Shanklin Park. “It has been so much fun watching Austin, Adrienne and their teammates. It is a joy for me and Denise to be a part of it.
“No matter what the outcome of the events, win or lose, we talk to our kids about keeping things in perspective. They need to enjoy these times in their lives because the four years go by so fast.
“With both being involved in athletics all year, there are a lot of late nights and scrambling around for meals. There will be times this spring when I go to a baseball game and Denise will be at a track meet.”